CASPAR, Inc. Celebrates Installation of Donated Solar Array with “Flip the Switch Event”

Organization earned donation from SolarFlair through City’s Solarize Somerville initiative

SOMERVILLE – Thanks to Solar Flair, Solarize Somerville resident participants, and the City of Somerville, local non-profit CASPAR, Inc. (Cambridge and Somerville Program for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Rehabilitation) expanded its far-reaching positive impacts on the community, and now they’re helping out the environment too. The organization was previously selected to receive a 5kW solar array donation that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and lower utility bills.

The 5kW array donation from SolarFlair, the City of Somerville’s installation partner, was installed in April and celebrated with a “Flip the Switch” during SustainaVille Week that was attended by Mayor Joseph Curtatone, SolarFlair President Matt Arner, President and CEO of Bay Cove Human Services Bill Sprague, and CASPAR program participants. By flipping the switch, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and CASPAR participants activated the solar PV system that sits atop CASPAR’s roof. The system is now generating electricity. A video of the event is available at www.somervillema.gov/seen.  

The solar array donation is the result of resident participants exceeding the goal of the citywide Solarize Somerville initiative to install 400 kW of installed solar capacity. So far, SolarFlair has installed 102 solar arrays, adding 549 kW of installed solar capacity to Somerville.

“Installing solar arrays helps reduce the city’s carbon footprint and pushes us closer to our collective community goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050,” said Mayor Curtatone. “Our residents’ dedication to that goal has allowed us to give back to an organization that has been doing impactful work in our community for generations.”

CASPAR, Inc. provides a variety of community-based services ranging from outreach, shelter, stabilization, residential, aftercare, and prevention services to people suffering with substance abuse disorders. The organization is dedicated to providing compassionate care, effective interventions, and leadership to the communities it serves and seeks to improve the lives of individuals and families who have been affected by substance abuse and other related issues like homelessness or mental illness.

“This is a win-win,” said President and CEO of Bay Cove Human Services Bill Sprague. “We’re happy to be contributing to a greater percentage of clean energy usage in Somerville while also saving money on utility bills. The less money we spend on energy, the more money we can dedicate to our programs like the ones that support expecting moms, new moms, and their newborns. We’re incredibly grateful to SolarFlair and the City for this donation.”

CASPAR, Inc. was chosen from a pool of seven applicants after the City put out a call last year for nominations and applications from local accredited 501c3 non-profits, houses of worship, or organizations that provide affordable housing.

"CASPAR was selected to receive the donated system because they demonstrated a sincere interest in pursuing clean energy and a clear need for support to make the project work financially,” said Matt Arner, President of SolarFlair. “As a non-profit, CASPAR couldn’t benefit from the 30 percent solar tax credit that homeowners and business owners enjoy because they do not pay taxes.  They also have a great roof for solar with lots of sun that will save them $30,000 in utility costs over the 25-year life of the solar panels.”

For more information about going solar or other energy efficiency efforts, visit www.somervillema.gov/seen or contact the Housing Environment Programs Office at 617-625-6600 ext. 2567.